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Teri Garr Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (16)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Lakewood, Ohio, USA
Birth NameTerry Ann Garr
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Teri Garr can claim a career in show business by birthright. She was the daughter of Eddie Garr, a Broadway stage and film actor, and Phyllis Garr, a dancer. While she was still an infant, her family moved from Hollywood to New Jersey but, after the death of her father when she was 11, the family returned to Hollywood, where her mother became a wardrobe mistress for movies and television. While Garr's dancing can be seen in nine Elvis Presley movies, her first speaking role in motion pictures was in the 1968 feature Head (1968), starring The Monkees. In the 1970s she became well established in television with appearances on shows such as Star Trek: The Original Series (1966), It Takes a Thief (1968) and McCloud (1970), and became a semi-regular on The Sonny and Cher Show (1976) as Cher's friend, Olivia. Garr has since risen to become one of Hollywood's most versatile, energetic and well-recognized actresses. She has starred in many memorable films, including Young Frankenstein (1974), Oh, God! (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Mr. Mom (1983), After Hours (1985) and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Supporting Actress in Tootsie (1982). Other film roles include The Black Stallion (1979), One from the Heart (1981), The Escape Artist (1982), Firstborn (1984), Let It Ride (1989), Full Moon in Blue Water (1988), Out Cold (1989), Short Time (1990), Waiting for the Light (1990), Mom and Dad Save the World (1992), Perfect Alibi (1995), Ready to Wear (1994) and A Simple Wish (1997).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Catherine Grace

Spouse (1)

John O'Neil (11 November 1993 - 1996) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Bubbly blonde persona with various undercurrents of extreme quirkiness, neuroses or even menace

Trivia (29)

Daughter of actor Eddie Garr and wardrobe mistress Phyllis Garr.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
Daughter, Molly O'Neil, was born in November 1993. Her marriage to John O'Neil Keenan took place on the day their adopted daughter Molly was born.
Continues to work despite the fact that she is battling multiple sclerosis, first diagnosed in 1983.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 177-178. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
The Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) episode, Star Trek: The Original Series: Assignment: Earth (1968), in which Garr plays a ditsy secretary, was written as the springboard for a spin-off series. The new series was to feature more adventures of "Roberta Lincoln" (Garr) and "Gary Seven" (Robert Lansing), but it never came about.
Friend of Connie Sellecca and Toni Basil.
Was the winner on a celebrity edition of Weakest Link (2001).
Has two brothers: Edward Jr. and Phillip.
Recovering from a brain aneurysm, suffered on December 21, 2006.
Attended CSU Northridge along with her Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) co-star, Richard Dreyfuss.
Steven Spielberg cast her in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) after seeing her work on a coffee commercial.
Told a story at The Moth storytelling night, about her experiences with a cheating boyfriend while living in L.A. The story made it to The Moth podcast.
Was a Go-Go dancer in the seminal rock-and-roll movie The T.A.M.I. Show (1964).
She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and National Chair for the Society's Women Against MS program (WAMS).
Release of her book "Speedbumps: Flooring It Thru Hollywood". [2005]
Her father was of Irish descent. Her maternal grandparents, Louis J. Schmotzer and Theresa Gundel, were Austrian immigrants.
Garr's first interest was ballet dancing.
Her first film work was as a chorus girl in Elvis Presley and Shirley Maclaine movies.
Garr's father appeared in "Tobacco Road" on Broadway and as Marilyn Monroe's father in "Ladies of the Chorus".
Terri Garr was featured and introduced in Anaheim's "Disney Land live show-business performances" - in her earliest career experience during a summer-night-time musical show at the Anaheim Disney Land - "Tomorrow Land" featured - outdoor theatrical stage - "Show Me America!" production, where Terri performed on roller skates, dressed as the "Statue of Liberty Goddess" during the Disney outdoor stage musical's tribute to the U.S.A. The variety show performed twice a night, repeated every week-night, during the entire summer season. The live entertainment feature was inaugurated in the late '60s to hold the park's attendees over into the night festivities, an incentive to watch an "Anaheim live themed Broadway spectacle" ... fully staged with a live pit band, talented-musical singers and dancers, magical scenery and costumes! The show was always well received at every performance. Terri, in her Liberty Goddess full long robed costume - feet in flashy gold painted skates, with a gold spike crown, a book in her left arm's elbow , and a gold torch held up high in her right hand was choreographed flying from one side of the stage proscenium, across to the opposite stage proscenium, skating down the center stage downhill run-way, circling the oval stage front runway, and skating uphill back - UP - to the performance area. The pit band was located inside this stage ramp runway. Terri had stamina and whizzed around that stage like a real trouper, singing her heart out during her skating routine ! Terri was featured during the entire 60 minute production.
Has twice played a woman married to a man who was considered insane because of something he saw, both released the same year: Oh, God! (1977) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
Late Night with David Letterman (1982) mainstay. She took a shower on the show in 1985.
Lobbied for the role of Elizabeth McGraw in 9½ Weeks (1986).
Made professional dancing debut with the San Francisco Ballet.
Spent childhood in New Jersey.
Was in attendance at the wedding of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.
She has appeared in six films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The T.A.M.I. Show (1964), The Conversation (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Black Stallion (1979) and Tootsie (1982).
Alumna of Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Personal Quotes (16)

I've always had this American-pie face that would get work in commercials . . . I'd say things like, "Hi, Marge, how's your laundry?" and "Hi, I'm a real nice Georgia peach". Sometimes this work is one step above being a cocktail waitress.
Any movie I've ever made, the minute you walk on the set they tell you who's the person to buy it [cocaine] from. Cher said they're going to make two monuments to us--the two girls who lived through Hollywood and never had cocaine.
It's different things at different times, you know? It's like when you read a true crime story and think it's really good, then the next book you pick up is a biography and you really like that. I don't consider that I have to judge any of the movies I make all the time, but people are always asking me: "What's your favorite movie?" And I never know what to say. They're just jobs to me, really. I take the part I'm lucky enough to get and do the best I can and then -- I don't know, they're just jobs.
Listen, I don't know. It's all theory. If I knew what I was talking about, I would be running the studio. That's why they keep changing the heads of the studios: Nobody knows. Nobody knows. But I'm sure it has affected the quality of movies. Being sensitive to the problem of women is just another symptom of the quality of movies: I don't think you can do anything that's very sensitive. Everything's sort of broad strokes and big gestures--adventure things that boys, guys--want to see.
The business is in a funny position these days. They gear everything to those target audiences that make money. Things look more and more like TV and the quality becomes different. People aren't so interested in seeing movies about women's problems.
I would love to do a great part for a woman, like the role Anjelica Huston had in The Grifters (1990). There are 60 million people on this block, alone, who would love to do those kind of parts, too. It's a tough, competitive business out there; keep hanging in, that's the thing.
[1983 interview] In our mothers' generation, the thing was to stay at home and have somebody take care of you. It's a funny thing because I don't know how I feel. Women who have careers have to face the fact that if they want to have a relationship or a marriage - then they're going to have two jobs. It's a tough question!
Comedy is really a mystery, because you are either funny or you're not. I think being funny is having intelligence and having wit.
I never stopped taking acting classes. I took them with anybody who was going on, from the very beginning. And I went back [East] to study with Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman. Stella Adler I think was my favorite, and she would go back and forth from New York to L.A. And then in between that, there were all kinds of other people -- like, there was guy named Jack Walter. There was Eric Morris. Eric Morris' class was my first class, and Jack Nicholson was in that class, and that was before he worked. God, that was a long time ago. I was a kid.
[on how she got the part in Young Frankenstein (1974)] I did the movie The Conversation (1974) with Gene Hackman, like one scene. It was a completely straight scene. Then I got Young Frankenstein (1974) after that and, yeah, that was my big break. And I went and auditioned at, like, a cattle call, 500 girls there. I think Farrah Fawcett was one of them. Everyone was auditioning for the part of the fiancee, and Mel Brooks kept saying, "I want Madeline Kahn, but she doesn't want to do it." She'd just done Mel's movie Blazing Saddles (1974). And then finally one day, it was like my third call back, and he said, "Unfortunately, Madeline is going to do the part of the fiancee, but if you can come back tomorrow with a German accent, I'll let you audition for the lab assistant." I said, "OK. Tomorrow? I have until tomorrow to get a German accent." So I had to just jump in and do it, which I did, and it was great. It was really a great experience.
[on favorite role she has played] I like the character in Tootsie (1982) because she was in the middle of the feminist movement and she didn't know whether to have a career or have a boyfriend. And it was all steeped in that New York acting class scene, which really made me laugh. Dustin Hoffman and I really laughed about that, because he came from the same place.
Being an actor, there's a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. You can't be arrogant. You have to be confident, and it's very hard to do. You can't think about it, either. You just have to do your work.
They only write parts for women where they let everything be steamrolled over them, where they let people wipe their feet all over them. Those are the kind of parts I play, and the kind of parts that there are for me in this world. In this life.
I like Cher. I still see her once in a while. I see her. I don't recognize her, but I see her.
[on her autobiography] You know I was originally going to call that book, Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat? And they wouldn't let me, because it might offend someone. And now I know-live and learn-that I don't care. I should have done it.
[on One from the Heart (1981)] God, that was long and tedious and hard. Francis [Ford Coppola] was outside in a trailer, just speaking over a loudspeaker to direct us. That was not easy. Over the loudspeaker he'd say, Let's do another take, and this time let's try acting, Ms. Garr.

Salary (1)

Oh, God! (1977) $40,000

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